What the Tech? Google Activity - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What the Tech? Google Activity

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Google knows more about you than you think, or even want to think. The search company recently released a new website where it details everything it has recorded about you since you started using Google.

It includes every website you've ever visited using the Chrome browser, links you clicked on and videos you've watched on YouTube. It also shows a history of your location unless you've opted out of the services. 

A quick look at my Google Activity showed YouTube videos I watched back in 2011 and links that I clicked on when I searched for information on bruised ribs. Scary? Hmmm, maybe. Google remembers things we've forgotten about. I didn't remember I had thought about tiling my basement floor until Google reminded me that I had watched YouTube how­to videos on the subject in February of 2011.

Google insists it only uses the information it's gathered to improve our web experience such as making searches faster and more accurate, and to show us ads that are more relevant than others. It uses location history to improve accuracy on Google Maps and to make connecting to the service faster by pinging the right cell towers. That certainly believable and Google says it does not sell or share that information with 3rd party companies.

Okay, I guess we all suspected there is a record of our history on Google and other places online, but to see it all in one place is a bit unsettling. Facebook keeps a record of everything we've ever posted on our accounts. Those photos and posts about vacations in 2012 are still there right? 

Even if we suspect, or know that we're leaving a trail of our movements and activity on Google and everywhere else, it's still a shock to see it all in one place. 

You can delete your history. At www.myactivity.google.com you can choose a time period you want to delete. You can opt out, Google calls it, "pausing" of keeping our history of events. You can also turn off location tracking, all at the new website. 

Will it have much of an effect on our web experience? Maybe, or maybe not. It's probably worth a try.

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